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14 Sep

A couple images of what giving thanks can look like…in the Oscar winning film Forrest Gump (1994) Gary Sinise plays Lieutenant Dan, who is severely wounded in Vietnam and loses both his legs.

He is saved from death by Forrest Gump but for years is filled with bitterness.

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Spanish fly, a ground-up beetle, has long been thought to swell passions.

Later in the film, while working on a shrimp boat with Forrest, a hurricane rolls in, and during this hurricane Lieutenant Dan screams out in anger at God for what had happened to him, all his bitterness comes pouring out—and God meets him in that place and changes his heart.

The next day Lieutenant Dan is serene and he gently smiles at Forrest and says, “Forrest?

This past weekend I visited several Civil War battlefields in Georgia and Tennessee and was reminded about the connection between the Civil War and Thanksgiving Day—for it was on October 3, 1863 that Abraham Lincoln wrote a proclamation for Thanksgiving Day in which he recounted the following ways that God blessed this country even in “the midst of a civil war of unequaled magnitude and severity”: “Needful diversions of wealth and of strength from the fields of peaceful industry to the national defense have not arrested the plow, the shuttle, or the ship; the ax has enlarged the borders of our settlements, and the mines, as well of iron and coal as of the precious metals, have yielded even more abundantly than heretofore.

Population has steadily increased, notwithstanding the waste that has been made in the camp, the siege, and the battlefield, and the country, rejoicing in the consciousness of augmented strength and vigor, is permitted to expect continuance of years with large increase of freedom.”“No human counsel hath devised, nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things.